Dog Dispatches From Quarantine

The second dog of the gymternet is back with more gymnastics takes.

Hello to you all from my couch. I mean, from me, not the couch. And actually, it’s not really a couch so much as a loveseat, a two-seater. Except it can feel a little tight with two people on it, especially if you want to assume a more relaxed posture. But it fits one human and one medium size dog perfectly. 

This works out well for this newsletter because I only had to turn to my left in order to ask the interview subject a few questions. Yes, it’s another installment of the Lizzie Q&A series. I figured we could all use a silly respite from our current dystopia. 

For those of you who missed the first installment, you can check it out here. In that newsletter, we learned that Lizzie was rooting for the Gators before the season ended prematurely because she can be bought with treats (not exactly a surprise). We also learned who her favorite gymnast is and what her religious affiliation is.

If you like the newsletter and want to help support it (and Lizzie in her endless quest for treats), please subscribe right here.

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Earlier this week, subscribers got to read a short transcript of an interview I did with Morgan Hurd back in 2015. 

As before, I’m typing the answers for Lizzie because she lacks opposable thumbs. And in the interest of clarity, all “woofs” and such sounds have been cut from Lizzie’s responses.

Dvora: How are you holding up during the quarantine?

Lizzie: The isolation can be tough. I haven’t sniffed as many butts as I would like and a certain human won’t give a moment of peace. 

Dvora: Hey! I thought dogs were supposed to be happy that their humans aren’t leaving them alone during the lockdown.

Lizzie: First, I want to commend you on the proper direction of the possessive—you belong to me, not the other way around. I’m glad we finally cleared that one up. And to respond to your statement, I do need some time to myself. There are certain things I can’t do with you around.

Dvora: Such as?

Lizzie: Rip up your bedsheets to make myself the perfect place to burrow. Go through the recycling for any small food remnants. Go through the purses you’re dumb enough to leave on the ground to find gum and unwrap all of your tampons. Add random things to your Netflix queue to mess with the algorithmic suggestions. 

Dvora: Is that why Netflix keeps trying to get me to watch He’s Just Not That Into You

Lizzie: No, that’s all you. I saw you watch Love Is Blind, Gilmore Girls, The First Wives Club, Spinning Out, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Jane the Virgin, and all 50 seasons of Grey’s Anatomy.

Dvora: At least I’m consistent. 

Lizzie: Like MyKayla Skinner while at Utah. 

Dvora: A bunch of people on Twitter sent questions for you. Care to answer them?

Lizzie: Of course. I love hearing from my fans. By any chance, did those questions come with treats?

Dvora: That’s not how Twitter works, Lizzie. 240 characters, not 240 treats. 

Lizzie: Trump tweets and no treats. I get why people refer to it as a hellsite. 

Dvora: For once, you and I are in agreement. Twitter is a hellsite. But it is also where we’ve met some cool gymnastics fans, such as renowned Lizzie portrait artist Sarah, who has a question for you. She asked, “Who is Lizzie’s favorite celebrity dog?”

Lizzie: Hi Sarah. First, let me start by thanking you for the drawing you made of me wearing a shark hat. You’ve truly captured my ferocious-yet-adorable spirit. Also, thanks for letting me sit on your lap while sticking my butt up in the air when you visited. It’s my preferred sitting position but for some reason, Dvora doesn’t let me do that to her.

You’re welcome back to our Clinton Hill apartment anytime. Dvora doesn’t even have to be home. I can tell you where the treats are stored. In the cabinet under the kitchen sink. She thinks I don’t know but I know. Just waiting for some Darwinian evolution shit to grow thumbs and get at them.

Dvora: That’s not how natural selection works. 

Lizzie: Like you would know. You went to an all-girls yeshiva. 

Now to Sarah’s question. My favorite celebrity dog is Dakota, the husky that throws a tantrum when it’s time to leave the park. 

His owners are laughing at him despite the fact that he is not playing around—he really doesn’t want to leave the park. Don’t you hate it when you’re being dead serious and everyone around acts like it’s a joke?

You humans think we dogs are just happy-go-lucky creatures, always wagging our tails and being all excited to see you and shit, but we have problems, too. You need to start taking our pain seriously. 

Dvora: Flippateer asks “What are Lizzie’s views on the yoga pose downward facing dog? An appropriate tribute to man’s best friend, or humans improperly impersonating her species?”

Lizzie: First, you guys are all doing it wrong. I don’t see your tails go up in the air when you do this stretch. The tail part is really critical. 

Dvora: I never realized that.

Lizzie: I wouldn’t expect you to know that. I’ve seen your downward dogs. Pitiful. No tail action, your heels are nowhere near the ground. You are terrible at yoga whereas I’m so good at yoga given my low center of gravity.

As for people practicing the downward dog, I wouldn’t mind if I was getting a cut of that sweet, sweet yoga money. The humans steal our pose and leave us high and dry. As in dry food.

Dvora: Everything comes back to food with you. 

Lizzie: All roads lead to food. It’s a famous saying. Read a book. 

Dvora: Anne (my former boss many lifetimes ago when I lived in Los Angeles and was forced to drive a car) of JAG Gym asks, “Wolves, sheep, and cats all have their own jumps or leaps. What are Lizzie’s feelings about the obvious exclusion of dogs in the COP [Code of Points]?

Lizzie: It’s probably Nellie Kim’s fault. She cut all of my kind’s skills from the Code or had them renamed after herself.

Dvora: That’s about as good a theory as I’ve heard. 

Dvora: Russian gymnastics expert Elizabeth Booth asks, “Trump or Sanders’ (the politician, not the chicken frier)?”

Well, if I have to rank them, it goes Colonel Sanders (the chicken frier) because CHICKEN! Dvora only ever gives me dry food. And then, of course, Bernie Sanders.

He believes in Medicare For All and I believe we can convince him to extend that to pets as well. Also, if Dvora spends less money on her healthcare premiums, she’ll have more money to buy me treats.

As for Trump, no never not in a million years. I wouldn’t even deign to lick his hand, even if it was covered in peanut butter.

Dvora: Friend of the newsletter Blythe Lawrence asks, “Personally I would like to know what floor music Lizzie would choose for herself.”

Lizzie: This will be a two part answer because I have to choose one for elite and one for NCAA. And I want each piece to express a different side of myself. For NCAA, I would go with some sexy, maybe something that reflects one of my true passions, bacon. So Nick Jonas’ “Bacon.”

It has the lyrics, “Feel like, aw shit, throw some bacon it/One thing I love more than being with you.” I can already see the choreography—a sultry walk, some hip shimmies. 

For my elite routine, I would go with something more classic, Dean Martin’s “That’s Amore.” The crowd would totally clap and sing along. People would love it.

Dvora: You’re not allowed to use songs with sung lyrics. 

Lizzie: Who makes these rules? The mayor from the town in Footloose?

Dvora: Sveta and the Khorcruxes—great name by the way—asks: “If Lizzie were to wear a leotard, what would it look like?”

Lizzie: I tend to be partial to the open back style of leotard because I don’t really have much in the way of cleavage so that works for me. Really shows off the beautiful spots I have on my back that come from my Australian cattle dog lineage. But I am aware that is not a style that works for everyone. 

As for color, I would go with a forest or kelly green; it would set off the flecks of amber in my eyes very well. And while I’m partial to crushed velvet leotards—why have we stopped wearing velvet leotards?—that probably wouldn’t be a wise choice because I shed a lot and velvet would pick up every piece of dog hair. Velvet (and corduroy) are like fly tape for dog hair. So something with a slick material, easy to get hair off of. I prefer a higher leg cut to elongate my lines. 

Dvora: You gotta show the international judges those long lines. That’s what they love to see. So do you have any supportive words to offer to the folks reading this while in quarantine?

Lizzie: Stay inside, find a comfy spot on the couch, and whine until someone brings you food.

Dvora: What if I stop giving you food when you whine?

Lizzie: Leave me alone for 15 minutes with your bedsheets and find out.